We switched gears from hard-core hiking and exploring and took this next week at a slow, leisurely pace. Some days we just stayed at home, played games, read books, and rode bikes around the village.
We loved staying in the old stone farmhouse...the kids kept discovering more toys squirreled away in one of the barns. We found bikes for the whole family and shelves full of books and toys and games. Plus it was our first time having a yard again since we left the States. By yard, I should specify that the outdoor area was comprised of gravel and gardens around the perimeter. No grass, but still lots of fun!
I was hoping to visit a snail farm, since Burgundy is the major snail-producing region in France--but they open later in the season.
Here are highlights from our week in Burgundy:
Hike to the Roche de Solutré
This large rock juts up out of the rolling hills of southern Burgundy. One one side is a sheer cliff, at the bottom of which were discovered 100,000 horse skeletons.
Chateau de Pierreclos
The oldest parts of the Chateau de Pierreclos were open for tours...
We got to try on real medieval armor and weaponry.
Lesson learned: don't mess with Zari. She is a fierce warrior.
Chateau de Cormatin
Our kids made it through the 1-hour guided tour of the Chateau de Cormatin (in French of course!)
They were very ready to go outside and explore the grounds...
We saw several cranes (?). One was eyeing the visitors.
Another pair was on one of the chimneys at the very top of the chateau
They liked the topiaries shaped like animals...
...and the turtle fountain
Eric played tag with the kids inside a hedge maze. This is the view from the tower in the center.
I geeked out over the kitchen gardens
A fun visit
The person who looks after the farmhouse when the owners aren't there stopped by to say hello. He invited us to come swimming at his house, since his four kids were home during the school holidays. We said, "sure, why not?" I had a mental image of an above-ground pool in someone's backyard. Instead, we followed him home (basically around the corner and into the next village) and gasped when he pulled inside the gates of a private chateau.
Turns out he's the chateau's caretaker. He lives in the carriage house, which he turned from the original stable/barn into a beautiful home (he's an architect and works from home; caretaking is his side job). The pool was on the other side of the chateau...in indoor, glass-walled poolhouse, every amenity imaginable. It had a lovely view over a wine-growing valley.
So this is how the 1% live, I thought.
We enjoyed every minute. His children were lovely and wore our kids out. He invited us over again, and we happily took him up on his offer!